Mass for Pentecost: Canticle for Birds & Water
There is no cause to grieve among the living or the dead,
so long as there is music in the air.
And where the water and the air divide, I’ll take you there.
The levee aureate with yellow thistles.
White moth, wasp and dragonfly.
We could not wish unless it were on wings.
Give us our means and point us toward the sun.
Will the spirit come to us now in the pewter paten of the air,
the fluted call of dabbler drakes, the deadpan honk
of the white-fronted goose, the tule goose.
Tongues confused in the matchstick rushes.
High, high the baldpate cries, and in the air,
and in the air, the red-winged blackbirds chase the damselflies.
Triumph over death with me. And we’ll divide the air.
From Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys. Copyright © 2012 by D. A. Powell. Used with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota